The fact is that Sophia Perovskaya and her company evicted the last two kings from the capital. 27 March 1881, three weeks after the murder of Alexander II by the people of the volunteers, Alexander III fled, otherwise you can’t tell, together with his family from Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg to Gatchina. Both students and dignitaries on this occasion began to magnify the king "Gatchina captive of the revolution."
As a result, two autocrats, unlimited masters of the huge Russian empire, 36 (!) Were absent in their capital for years, and 150 million citizens did not know where their favorite king was. The location of the king and his movement became the state-owned number 1 in the Russian Empire.
From April 1881 to April 1917, Alexander III and Nicholas II spent the night only in the imperial residences - in Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo, Petergof or the huge three-story “hunting palace” in Spala (Belovezhskaya Pushcha). When visiting cities of the empire, both emperors spent the night exclusively on the royal trains or on yachts.
TIGER AND LIVADIA
From 1825 to 1861 for a year, emperors Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II traveled to the Southern coast of Crimea by carriage. 80-kilometer highway from Sevastopol to Livadia through the Baidar gate passed through a picturesque area. However, this path raised concerns among the guards. Therefore, 12 in October 1861, Alexander II traveled from Livadia back to Sevastopol on a wheeled yacht "Tiger". This yacht was built in 1855 year in Nikolaev. Its displacement was 2000 t, and the machine was a trophy one, taken from the English tiger frigate, which sank in the 1854 year off the coast of Odessa.
Soon the imperial yacht "Tiger" dilapidated, and instead of it, in 1870-1873, a new wooden wheeled yacht "Livadia" with a displacement of 2000 tons was built in Nikolaev. Already in the summer of 1873 she transported the Empress Maria Alexandrovna with her family from Sevastopol to Yalta. Well, on August 26, 1872 the Tiger was excluded from the lists of Black Sea vessels fleet.
Alas, "Livadia" on the night of October 22 1878, jumped on the rocks at Cape Tarkhankut on the west coast of Crimea. The yacht was broken by the waves. And here Vice-Admiral A.A. Popov, who mocked the whole world with the construction of two round battleships, “assists”, proposed to Tsar Alexander II to build a round, or rather, elliptical yacht “Livadia”. Popov seduced the king with an almost total lack of pitching, various comforts and luxury finishes.
A huge yacht for those times, the standard displacement 4420 t, named after its predecessor, was laid on the slipway of the English shipbuilding company John Elder and Co. 25 in March 1880, and in September 24 of the same year, Livadia, under the command of its creator - British shipbuilder engineer Pierce left the shipyard in Glasgow on the Clyde River and headed for Sevastopol.
The yacht was luxuriously trimmed. The area of cabins, saloons and halls for the imperial family and suite was 3950 square. m, that is, in 6,7 times more than the old "Livadia". The huge imperial reception room with 4 m ceilings was decorated in the style of the rooms of Louis XVI in Fontainebleau. In the reception room a fountain surrounded by a flower bed was boiling. The living room on the middle deck was furnished in Crimean Tatar style. Other rooms had a Persian finish. Most of the ceremonial cabins were decorated in modern English style.
On the way from England to the Black Sea, the yacht landed in a storm in the Bay of Biscay and almost collapsed into pieces. Almost 8 months spent on repairs in the Spanish port of Ferrol.
And now 27 of May 1881 of the year “Livadia” arrived in Sevastopol. It is clear that the new emperor did not dare to float on it. For the sake of decency, the yacht was reclassified into the steamer "Experience", and later turned into a blockhash.
EREKLIK AND HIS CONVOIRS
Then for the transportation of the highest persons several years used passenger steamers. So, in November, 1872 was purchased from the ROPiT company passenger and passenger ship “Grand Duchess Olga”, built in England in 1866. He was reclassified into an imperial yacht and renamed “Ereklik”.
The first time, in the absence of other warships on the Black Sea, the Ereklik with the highest persons was escorted by the cruiser Memory of Mercury.
In addition, from time to time for several months the passenger ships of the Voluntary Fleet “Orel” with a displacement of 8175 and Moscow (6483) were enlisted as cruisers. The fact is that their Majesties considered it indecent for them to walk under the tricolor - the commercial flag of the Russian Empire, and necessarily under the St. Andrew’s flag. The Eagle and Moscow cruisers were escorted by new Black Sea fleet ships, including battleships.
October 20 1894, Alexander III died in Livadia. And on October 27, the emperor's coffin was installed on the cruiser Memory of Mercury, which, accompanied by the brig Twelve Apostles and the cruiser Oryol, went to Sevastopol.
Immediately after the death of Alexander III, the manifesto on the accession to the throne of Nicholas II was proclaimed in the Holy Cross Church of Livadia.
The new emperor loved to travel in comfort. And with him the yachts began to drive from the Baltic to the Black Sea and back.
And now 22 June 1898, the yacht "Standart" leaves Kronstadt and goes to Sevastopol. Well, 14 August Nicholas II leaves from Peterhof to Sevastopol, but by rail. Having stayed in Moscow, the king arrives in Sevastopol at 10 in the morning of August 21. I note that in Sevastopol the station was specially designed so that the king, right from the car, literally passing 20 m, got to the pier, where a boat from the “Standard” was already waiting for him.
Back 12 December 1898, the "Standard" was under the escort of destroyers. The Tsar wrote in his diary: “A sad incident happened here on the squadron: the destroyer No. 252 was washed away by the commander, Lieutenant Gajewski, just before Sevastopol, when they returned after the convoying of the Standard!”
The road from Yalta to Sevastopol traditionally took three hours. The day before the cruiser “Memory of Mercury” took the royal baggage and took it to Sevastopol. Well, "Standart" again around Europe went to the Baltic. So, for the sake of two three-hour walks, an imperial yacht the size of an armored cruiser raced around Europe twice!
Sea walks on yachts are always liked by the monarchs, although the maintenance of the yachts was very expensive for the state budget. So, from 1954, the British Queen had only one big yacht “Britain”, and she was built in such a way that during wartime she turned to a hospital ship. On the yacht for 42, 928 state visits were made. But since 1997, she is laid up. Elizabeth II even cried in public about this, but parliament remained adamant - she never allocated money for repairs and modernization of the yacht.
From 1894 to 1914 year among the monarchs of the world, the largest flotilla of yachts was the august Romanov family. According to the total tonnage, the yachts were not inferior to the tonnage of all the cruisers of the Port Arthur squadron, and the large yachts were not inferior in size to the armored cruisers of that time, although Alexander III and Nikolay II only visited the yachts in England, France, Denmark and Germany. But mostly the yachts voyed between Peterhof and Finnish skerries and the South Bay of Sevastopol and the Yalta port.
It is curious that in order to at least somehow maintain propriety and legally extort money from the budget of the maritime department, Alexander III invented a new type of ships - a cruiser yacht. Thus, in 1887, the construction of the cruiser Memory of Mercury began in the style of the English cruiser Linder. Its armament was to consist of eight 152-mm, four 107-mm, six 47-mm guns and two torpedo tubes. The cruiser was intended for operations on ocean communications, and its cruising range was to be 12 500 miles.
During the construction of the cruiser, changes were made to its design. At the same time, the king was told that the name was not very suitable for a pleasure boat, and the ship was renamed the Polar Star. As a result, when the “Polar Star” entered service in March 1891, it was not a cruiser, but a luxury yacht with four 47-mm guns. The cost of this vessel was 3 557 100 rubles. For comparison: the cost of the parallel memory of the armored cruiser Memory of Azov was 3 690 254 rubles, including artillery. I note that the "Memory of Azov" was built with luxurious salons for the transportation of the highest persons.
In 1892, the Navy ordered a cruiser to the Danish company Burmeister og Vine. But in October 1893, Alexander III ordered the remaking of him into an imperial yacht. In operation, she entered under the name "Standart" in 1896, already with the new king. Its displacement was 5480 t. For salutes, the yacht had eight Hotchkiss 47-mm guns.
In addition to these yachts, the highest family had at least a dozen more yachts - “Tsarevna”, “Alexandria”, etc. And several more cruiser yachts were built for the royal relatives. For Admiral General of the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich - the yacht-cruiser "Svetlana" with a displacement of 3727 t, since Alexey lacked the Strela sea yacht of the 1890 construction of the year. For the governor of the Far East, Admiral Alekseev (illegitimate son of Alexander II), the Almaz cruiser was built with a displacement of 3285 tons.
However, the sending of Almaz to Port Arthur was delayed, and Alekseev ordered one of the best auxiliary cruisers, the Angara, to be transferred there. This ship with a displacement of 12 050 T had a speed of 20,1 knot and could give the Japanese a lot of trouble during the raiding in the ocean, if it had stayed in Vladivostok. But where is the governor of the highest blood without a yacht? And the "Angara" ingloriously vanished in Port Arthur, along with the rest of the squadron ships.
Simple admirals did not receive large yachts. But on the other hand, for their near-office trips (1 — 3 hours per destroyer), they demanded large cruisers to serve them. So, Admiral Grigorovich traveled from Sevastopol to Livadia not by car (3 hours) and not by the destroyer (1,5 hours), but on the newest cruiser “Cahul”. And Admiral Jessen decided to 15 in May 1904 of the year to inspect the village Posyet in 100 versts from Vladivostok across the Amur Bay on the cruiser Bogatyr. On the way, the admiral effectively removed the commander from control, and the Bogatyr ran into the stones, breaking down to the very end of the Russo-Japanese War.
I note that in the 1901 — 1903 years, the ships of the Russian Pacific squadron in Port Arthur were mainly in the armed reserve. An armed reserve was an invention of the Russian Maritime Ministry, whose budget was not enough for the permanent presence of the fleet at sea. Therefore, a significant part of the ships systematically defended in the harbors without vapors.
But the yacht-cruiser "Standart" two or even four times a year, chased from the Baltic to the Black Sea only in order to take the emperor from Sevastopol to Yalta. It is true, especially the bosses, the team and the servant is not necessary. The royal yachts were not subject to customs inspection ... and the Polar Star yacht held an indisputable record for smuggling smuggling on the Copenhagen – Kronstadt route. This route was annually visited by the widowed empress Maria Feodorovna. Of course, it was possible to roll up on the train in a couple of days, but on the yacht it was somehow more fun.
Three hours from the South Bay of Sevastopol to the embankment of Yalta "Standart" was not one, but accompanied by a whole squadron of ships of the Black Sea Fleet. So, 30 March 1914, he was accompanied by the cruiser "Cahul", the yacht "Diamond" and four destroyers. And this, I note, was not only an honorary escort. The fact is that the “Diamond” yacht in its silhouette was almost no different from the “Standard”. Therefore, for six years, from 1906 to 1911 a year, the Almaz served as the twin yacht of the Standard in the Baltic. Periodically, the royal yacht changed parking in the Finnish skerries with her twin. Contemporaries claimed that in 1907, a floating mine was discovered at the entrance to Kotka Bay. But at the same time, the yacht Almaz was moored in the parking lot intended for the “Standart”.
At the beginning of 1911, Almaz underwent repairs (by the way, in 1908, it was officially included in the number of imperial yachts), and on July 23 of the same year, he left the Baltic Sea forever and went to the Black Sea to accompany the Standard yacht.
If on the Black Sea on the “Standard” the king usually spent several hours on the way from Sevastopol to Yalta and back, in the Baltic he stayed on the “Standard” for weeks. Nicholas II and his family loved to rest from late June to early August on the islands in the Finnish skerries. Most often this happened near the village of Virolahti. Now it is located a few kilometers from the Russian-Finnish border, and then it was the territory of the Russian Empire.
SHINING LANTERNS AT NIGHT
The security of the king, in addition to the palace guards, whose numbers ranged from 50 to 200 people, was provided by several thousand sailors who were aboard the ships of the convoy and the surrounding islets.
In September 1906, the king wrote to his relatives: “With us here are“ Ukraine ”and“ Finn ”, the destroyers“ Vidny ”,“ Rezvy ”and“ Thunderful ”,“ Tsarevna ”,“ General-Admiral ”and“ Asia ”. All of them shine at night with battle lights around the yacht. " I note that the “Asia” and the “General-Admiral” were old cruisers. On the "Asia" placed the ranks of the palace guard, and on the "General Admiral", apparently, there were also some parts of the guard, including guard dogs. Well, "Ukraine" and "Finn" - destroyers, built on donations of the population during the Russian-Japanese war.
From 1911 of the year, the Pechora transport with a displacement of 1910 tons specially built in 1911 — 2000 began to be used at the Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant. The transport also had a large photolaboratory and room for police dogs. In addition, the tsar flotilla included a coal barge, a bath-ship, a water carrier “Aquarius” and a hospital ship.
But the composition of the royal convoy in Finnish skerries at the end of August 1907 (usually at that time the king was already in Livadia, but because of the unrest in the Black Sea Fleet, there could be no question of Crimea). Ahead of the "Standard" were the destroyers "Ukraine" and "Vigorous"; behind are Asia, the Elekens and Alexandria yachts, and the guards of the royal yachts Dozorny and the Scout. I note that it was under Nicholas that a new type of ship appeared in the Russian fleet - “escorts of royal yachts”. In 1900 — 1904 years, four escorts were built: “Guard”, “Satellite”, “Patrol” and “Scout”.
The skerry region, where Shtandart was traveling, was well equipped in advance in a hydrographic respect: underwater stones were blown up, buoys were delivered, and the fairways were clearly marked. Nevertheless, 29 August 1907, on the traverse of the island of Granscher Standard, flew over a narrow stone at a depth of 5,5 m, not indicated on the map. Having taken 1200 t of water, Shtandart has tilted. The royal family immediately transferred to the yacht "Alexandria".
It is curious how the supreme passengers of the yacht were supplied. Let us give some excerpts from the relevant memories and documents of the time.
Since all the parkings of the “Standard” were predetermined, before the start of the voyage, the “colonels from cutlets” of the Gofmarshalsky part sent a wagon with various economic junk from St. Petersburg to Finland. Also, a glacier wagon was regularly shipped from St. Petersburg to Finland, in which meat and dairy products were transported.
The fact that it is necessary to Pierre Kyuba on the "Standart", Hofmarshalsky part learned by radio. The “route” of the radiogram from Kyub to the “colonels from cutlets” in Peterhof was as follows. First, the radiogram came to the wireless telegraph at the Main Naval Headquarters, then it was transmitted to the Hofmarshalsky part of the Winter Palace, and from there by telephone to Peterhof, from which the destroyer departed. Here are a few of these telegrams.
Peterhof, August 19 1907: “The Stormy destroyer will come out of Peterhof tomorrow Tuesday 10 in the morning tell someone you think is necessary. Prince Putiatin.
"Standart", 20 August 1907 of the year: "Favor to send 50 cream, 50 milk bottles, 20 oil pounds, palace peach greenhouses, plums, grapes, gooseberries, if possible, different colors for table decoration."
"Standart», August 21 1907 years, "Favor send: Pilsener beer bottles 20, Bavarian 80, 50 monastery kvass, cranberry 20, 80 bread, sweets 20 pound cake 5, mostly simple, creamy caramel 4 pound boxes. Fresh mushrooms of mushrooms, if there is a little for a snack, they are asked to send milk for Their Majesties at each occasion not boiled. ”
The ships guarding the "Standard" had clear instructions not to allow any ships to the royal yacht. Once, while the king was resting, a Finn, unfamiliar with the Russian order, swam in a boat to the watchdog line to sell apples. The sniper of protection with an accurate shot has brought down a hat from the Finn. A more serious incident occurred with the English steamer "Woodburn". The ship, laden with forest, was approaching the stand of the “Standart” to go around the yacht at a distance of three cables. "Woodburn" began to push the destroyers. Dodging, Woodburn reversed, and his nose was turned straight to the Standard. Immediately, the royal yacht escorts opened warning fire, and the Emir of Bukhara destroyer landed an 76-mm projectile on the side of the ship. As a result, the steam line was damaged and a fireman was injured. The scandal that followed, Russian diplomats hushed up with great difficulty.
SPECIAL OPERATION ON THE VOLGA
River royal yachts in the Russian fleet formally was not. However, in the 1885, at the Sormovsky plant, by order of the Ministry of Railways, two steamers “for business trips” were laid. These steamers - "Mezhen" and "Strezhen" - were beautiful yachts with contours of clippers. Their interior was decorated with precious woods, and the furniture and tapestries were in the style of Louis XIV. However, both vessels in the directory of vessels of the river register were listed as “tugs with iron hulls”.
Alas, persons of the imperial family rarely traveled along the rivers. So, the “Mezhen” was first used for its intended purpose only for three days in July 1899, when the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich deigned to voyage from Yaroslavl to Rybinsk. In July, the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna made a pilgrimage tour on the Mezheni, in July. AT history the “Megeny” entered the 1913 year during the celebrations on the occasion of the 300 anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.
It was decided that the royal family will arrive in Nizhny Novgorod by train, and then proceed to the "Megeni" up the Volga to Yaroslavl. For this purpose, a special squadron was formed in the composition of the railway (state) steamships Nizhny Novgorod, Mezhen, Strezhen, Ekaterina, Oryol, as well as the mobilized large passenger ships of Samolet, the Emperor Alexander the Blessed, and Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich.
In advance, a large group of officers went to the Volga with sailors of the royal yachts. Under their leadership, the "Mezhen" and "Strezhin" were remade with special luxury. It was possible to establish even a very impressive bathtub for bathing the highest persons.
Since April 1913, the entire fairway 50 of fathoms wide from Nizhny Novgorod to Yaroslavl was repeatedly raked for mines and natural obstacles (writhing, snakes, stones, etc.). Put up hundreds of buoys and milestones. Between Nizhny and Yaroslavl, 200 organized special posts, each of which had two boats and at least three watchmen.
In May 1913, the entire “squadron” made a test flight from Nizhny to Yaroslavl and back. Three days before the arrival of the highest persons, it was ordered to stop the rafting of the forest on the Volga and adjacent rivers, and 12 hours before the arrival of the Tsar's flotilla the movement of all cargo and passenger ships was to be stopped. So, the “Low Water” on its way did not meet a single floating craft.
During 12 hours before the highest departure from Nizhny Novgorod, a steamer of communications left the river, accompanied by two powerboats. On board there were several dozen police officers who were supposed to stop all counter vessels, going both from above and below, and force them to anchor beyond the fairway. After that, on each of the stopped ships there remained one lower police rank.
After the passage of the tsarist flotilla, a state-owned steamer going behind, accompanied by a motorboat, removed the lower ranks of police from detained private courts and allowed the courts to continue on their way. At the same time, the state-owned steamer observed that the steamers coming from the bottom did not overtake him.
Three days before the tsar sailed from Nizhny, the movement of all private motorboats along the Volga was prohibited. The population was strictly forbidden to kindle bonfires on the shore.
Just in case, on the way from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod, two trains started in front of the Tsar’s train at intervals of 1 an hour — the letter Sv (Sweet) and the letter B. Both trains did not have external differences from the royal. The train with Nicholas II arrived in Nizhny Novgorod at 10 in the morning on May 17. And in the evening the king moved to the yacht "Mezhen". The retinue housed on the Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich three-deck passenger steamship. The ministers of Kokovtsov, Maklakov, Rukhlov, and the guard corps set off on other steamers.
The king visited the Ipatiev Monastery, Kostroma and Yaroslavl. At midnight on the 22 in May, the royal train rushed Nicholas II from Yaroslavl to Moscow. Note that the emperor spent all nights aboard the Mezheni.
Usually, monarchs and heads of government arrive in the capital of the state where they are negotiating, signing agreements, etc., during their foreign visits. However, since 1904, Emperor Nicholas II did not risk inviting monarchs and prime ministers to St. Petersburg, fearing the disloyalty of the population, and preferred to negotiate with them on yachts both on the high seas and on the docks in Revel and other ports. In some cases, these were special operations, in which intelligence and security were playing an important role.
So, in July, 1905, the meeting of Nicholas II and Wilhelm II took place in the Gulf of Finland near Biorca. The king arrived on the yacht Polaris, and cousin Willie on the yacht Hohenzollern. The poor Kaiser had only one yacht in 4 thousand tons, and she was a well-armed cruiser. And only one escort - a small destroyer S-97.
10 July Nicholas II and Wilhelm signed on board the yacht "Hohenzollern" the so-called treaty in Biorca. This treaty was not directed against France, but, on the contrary, the signatories suggested attaching it to the alliance of Russia and Germany.
27 July 1905 of the year (new art.) From Pillau, the Kaiser writes to his cousin Niki: “July 24 [new. Art. - A.Sh.] 1905 will be the cornerstone of European politics; this day begins a new page in history; this will be a page of peace and friendly relations between the powers of the European continent, whose policies based on friendship and trust will be directed towards the achievement of common interests. ”
If the treaty in Biorka entered into force, then the history of mankind would have gone completely in a different scenario. It is quite possible that then there would be neither the First World War, nor the Civil War in Russia. One way or another, but Nicholas II in Biorca made the wisest decision for all his reign.
Alas, the ministers, and first of all Premier Witte and Foreign Minister Lamsdorf, were horrified and literally forced the king to abandon the alliance with Germany.
Now the king had no choice but to go to bow to Aunt Entente. And now the British king Edward VII has come to Russia for a visit. Well, as it should be in appropriate cases, he hoped to visit the capital of the Russian Empire.
The head of the security department A.V. Gerasimov wrote: “They said that he really wanted to see our capital and observe its life itself. This plan was dropped, since the Emperor spoke out against him in the strongest terms. I do not know what official excuse was given in diplomatic relations in order to convince Edward VII to agree to a date in another city, but the real motives, as Stolypin told me, were that the stay of the English king in St. Petersburg was not to the liking of the Tsar .
“- He used to walk freely everywhere in England, and therefore he would like to behave in the same way. I know him, he will attend theaters and ballet, and he will probably walk through the streets to look at the factories and the shipyard. I cannot walk with him, and if he is without me, you understand what kind of talk this will cause. Therefore, it will be better if he does not come here, ”the sovereign explained his decision.”
As a result of diplomatic negotiations, the port of Revel was chosen as the meeting place for monarchs. Negotiations were on the yacht "Standart" and the royal "Victoria and Albert."
14 – 15 July 1908, the French President Armand Falier arrived in Revel. He came not on the yacht, but on the handsome five-pipe battleship Vernio. The battleship was the last French ship of the pre-dreadnought type, but in terms of firepower, booking, and displacement it was almost as good as the first British dreadnoughts.
In Revel, a squadron of royal yachts met the French squadron - “Standart”, “Polar Star”, “Tsarevna” and others.
When the boat with the president moored to the Standard, the ship's orchestra played the Marseillaise, Nicholas II had to pay tribute, and the sailors shouted "Hurray!"
All subsequent negotiations took place only aboard the Standard. The king and the president did not go ashore, and Nicholas II did not even visit the Vernion.
Russia finally entered the Entente. The countdown to the start of the First World War went on board the yacht "Standart".